Recent Miscellaneous Articles

Ira Sabin playing drums

My Dad in the Twilight of Life

We enrolled dad into in-home hospice a couple weeks ago. It’s been a challenging process. Mine is a nuclear family of five, nine different cancers between us. No one has yet succumbed to the disease.

Genetic Codes

Consumer-Direct Genetic Testing: ‘Consumer Power’ or ‘Grief’ Ahead?

Given the easy access to direct-to-consumer (DTC) DNA testing, it is vital to discern the potential value versus possible emotional and physical risks that having such data might present.

Right-toTry Bill - logo

Cancer Treatment ‘Right-to-Try’ Bill: Pros, Cons, Unknowns

The Right-to-Try movement—advocates for faster access to potentially life-saving experimental drugs for terminal patients—has gained strong momentum, with the act recently winning easy passage in congress, and, at the time of this article, it is on its way for a senate vote. The legislation is widely anticipated to become law later this year. As of […]

Abstract colorful oil painting on canvas texture.

When Cancer ‘Care’ Can Hasten Death

Treatment or quality of life; are they mutually exclusive? For select patients, and not just the elderly, when it comes to cancer treatment and potential outcomes, it is important to consider the quality of life in the months or years of treatment over the potential months or years of extended life.

Beautiful autum fall scene

Defined By Cancer

I frequently read or hear this declaration issued by survivors who have moved on with their lives, at their own pace and purpose, even in the face of uncertainty: “I am not defined by cancer.” Of course, I understand and respect this… I just wonder if it is truly possible.

His Holiness, Dalai Lama

Living With Cancer in the Context of Dalai Lama

When I first laid eyes on the Dalai Lama’s insightful, powerful words, I read the quote back-to-back three times, slowly. Though just a few sentences, there is so much to unpack and contemplate.

Beautiful illustration of leaves.

The Power of Words: Oncologists, Attitudes, Statistics, Hope

When I was originally diagnosed with incurable cancer 27 years ago, it was my primary care doc who—before HIPAA privacy was a thing in the U.S.—told my father that I, a newly married twenty-eight year old at that time, had six months to live. Six. Months. To. Live.

Judo martial arts abstract with two fighters.

Against Cancer: Judo, Not War

The militaristic connection of ‘fighting’ and ‘battling’ cancer was cemented in 1971 when Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer. Almost half a century later this so-called war is global, with tens of millions of casualties. All wars are ultimately bad. They are best prevented. Equating the body as a battlefield within which to wage war is nonsensical. Rogue cancer cells as the enemy, and healthy ones as the good soldiers?

Man shown from behind in hospital gown

On Taking Control

In my new book, n of 1, I tell a story of maintaining control—my brand of maintaining control—when at an extremely low point.

Logo - NCI Designated Comprhensive Cancer Center

3 Reasons to Get a Second Opinion at an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Most newly diagnosed cancer patients, and those with relapsed disease, do not know when and why to get a second—or third—opinion before getting treated. Glenn Sabin explains the process.